LibriVox recording of The Spirit of Laws (Volume 1), by Montesquieu. Read by Benjamin Gittins. This audiobook covers Volume 1 (Books I to XIX) of "The Spirit of the Laws" (French: De "l'esprit des lois", also sometimes called "The Spirit of Laws"). Spirit of Laws is a treatise on political theory first published anonymously by Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu in 1748 with the help of Claudine Guérin de Tencin. Originally published anonymously partly because Montesquieu's works were subject to censorship, its influence outside of France was aided by its rapid translation into other languages. Montesquieu's political treatise had an enormous influence on the work of many others, most notably: Catherine the Great, who produced Nakaz (Instruction); the Founding Fathers of the United States Constitution; and Alexis de Tocqueville, who applied Montesquieu's methods to a study of American society, in Democracy in America.
In this political treatise Montesquieu pleaded in favor of a constitutional system of government and the separation of powers, the ending of slavery, the preservation of civil liberties and the law, and the idea that political institutions ought to reflect the social and geographical aspects of each community. (Introduction by Wikipedia)
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